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Spain's Long Shadow: The Black Legend, Off-Whiteness, and Anglo-American Empire

Copyright Date: 2005
Edition: NED - New edition
Pages: 408
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  • Book Info
    Spain's Long Shadow
    Book Description:

    Surveying a broad range of texts and images, from Poe's “William Wilson” and John Singer Sargent's El Jaleo to Richard Wright's “Pagan Spain” and Kathy Acker's Don Quixote, Spain's Long Shadow shows how the creation of Anglo-American ethnicity as specifically American has depended on the casting of Spain as a colonial alter ego.

    eISBN: 978-0-8166-9700-7
    Subjects: History

Table of Contents

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  1. Front Matter
    (pp. i-vi)
  2. Table of Contents
    (pp. vii-viii)
    (pp. ix-x)
    (pp. xi-xxxiv)

    Since the early 1980s, American literary and cultural studies have been seeking new approaches to the subject of American literature and culture within the framework of “multiculturalism.”¹ Although the new approaches have yielded much impressive and exciting scholarship, particularly with regard to ethnicity and race, the focus of these enterprises has been, until quite recently, on the United States not as the United States of the Americas, but as “American.”² Despite the shift from American studies to Americas studies, even within American studies the move to give a more multicultural dimension to English departments, curricula, and scholarship generally under the...

    (pp. 1-68)

    The underlying claim of this chapter is that in the literature of what F. O. Matthiessen refered to as “the American Renaissance” the historical, cultural, and racial specificities of what Harry Levin and other critics, following suit, have termed “the power of blackness” have been largely overlooked beyond the black/white binary of U.S race relations, a binary challenged in much recent scholarship emerging from Latina/o studies and critical race theory/ethnic studies.¹ This chapter attempts to reorient the reader away from the horizon of a Manichaean dualism of “black and white” in the analytic discourse of much of American studies (particularly...

  6. chapter 2 IMPERIAL VISIONS: Moor, Gypsy, and Indian
    (pp. 69-138)

    It may strike some readers as strange or perhaps too neat that the Black Legend against Spain should have resulted, representationally speaking, in the physical as well as moral “blackening” or the progressive darkening of Spaniards and those people deemed in some way “Spanish.” But such was the case; it certainly bears itself out in the narratives from the end of the eighteenth century to the mid-nineteenth century examined thus far. However, I do not want to leave readers with the impression that every nineteenth-century invocation of the Black Legend involved this physical blackening or that the Black Legend was...

    (pp. 139-186)

    In 1898, in response to the conflict in the Caribbean between the United States and Spain over Cuba in particular, the Berlin paperKladderadatschpublished a remarkable cartoon (Figure 5). The cartoon figured the United States as Uncle Sam and Spain as an armor-clad Quixotic knight challenging each other, nose to nose and foot to foot. Uncle Sam and the Spaniard are each stepping on Cuba with a forward lunging foot while Uncle Sam’s other foot is poised on Florida and the Spaniard’s on Spain. The caption reads, “This encounter does not seem, at present, exactly a happy one for...

    (pp. 187-242)

    During the nineteenth century, Anglo-Americans had been especially interested in typing and explaining the inhabitants of Spain in terms of “race” and “racial origins”—attributing the presumed distinctiveness of Spaniards from “Europeans” to their “Oriental” heritage, to the traces of Moorish, Gypsy, and Jewish “blood.” As I have argued in chapters 2 and 3, Anglo-Americans’ interest in Spaniards as Moors, Gypsies, Jews, and “Indians” was heavily determined by the dynamics of a racially encoded vision of manifest destiny. The defeat of Spain in the Spanish-Cuban-American War (1898) and the acquisition of most of its remaining colonies marked the debut of...

    (pp. 243-288)

    In the works of many writers included in the traditional canon of “American” literature as well in the works of many U.S. painters and photographers, representations of Spain and its inhabitants involve an attempt to define “Spanish” blood, temper, or nature.¹ Such an attempt has had and continues to have the effect of reinforcing the notion of an essential “American” identity that is posited, either overtly or implicitly and without ironic distance, in contradistinction to the one figured as “Spanish.” Rarer are the texts or visual works that critique the endeavor to define Spain and Spaniards in terms of racial...

  10. chapter 6 AFTERLIVES OF EMPIRE
    (pp. 289-324)

    Spain’s Long Shadowis the story of the long-term captivation of Anglo-American culture with figures of Spain. Since the late eighteenth century, Anglo-American identity as “American” has been dependent on Spain. Figures of Spain have been central to the dominant fictions of revolution, manifest destiny, birth/rebirth, and “American” exceptionalism in general. Figures of Spain have been indispensable to the constitution, elaboration, and even, as is evident, for example, in Kathy Acker’sDon Quixote(1986), to the interrogation of these dominant fictions.

    This study has shown that the long-standing fascination with Spain in Anglo-American culture has been far from amorphous. It...

  11. NOTES
    (pp. 325-346)
    (pp. 347-358)
  13. INDEX
    (pp. 359-372)
  14. Back Matter
    (pp. 373-373)